A powerful, sweeping payments evolution is changing the way we transact. As the world quickly migrates from cash, check and magnetic stripe cards to EMV® chip cards and digital and mobile wallets, retailers must adapt quickly to capture and retain their customers. That means easing the entire checkout experience, from the way customers pay to how a retailer builds customer loyalty.
Staying Relevant in a Changing Industry of Payment Trends
There is no question that consumer shopping behaviors are changing. With the Internet at their fingertips, more and more consumers are “showrooming” potential purchases: comparing and price-shopping on their mobile devices before making a purchase. In fact, a recent study by MIT revealed that 80% of shoppers checked prices online before entering a store. When added to the growing number of consumers buying via mobile, retailers must be prepared to accept multiple payment options – from Apple Pay to pre-pay with store pick-up to mobile alternatives that allow consumers to pay anytime, anywhere, with any tender type, via any device – in addition to traditional credit, debit and prepaid cards and cash.
When it comes to customer retention, participating in merchant-funded networks also can help build customer loyalty. These customer reward programs allow customers to pick specific reward offers that they find most appealing from stores they are interested in. This enables customers to control their rewards and allows retailers to be precise when targeting customer preferences, thus driving an increase in customer participation. These offers can then be delivered for ease of use across multiple platforms, from mobile payment app notifications to e-mails and even direct-to-consumer text messages. Through solutions like these, retailers can collect valuable data about their customers and more effectively personalize shopping experiences.
How to Adapt in the Evolving World of Payments
The first step in adapting to this evolution in payments systems requires prioritizing payment options and updating point of sale technology based on business needs and consumer preferences.
Each situation is unique and solutions may vary depending on the type of retail business involved – small- to mid-sized retailers will need a different solution than a big-box store, and department stores will differ from grocery or discount stores. However, to be effective, retailers must accurately assess their specific needs based on their customers’ purchasing behaviors. A strong, full-service solution partner can help you complete this assessment, find the appropriate rewards system to drive customer loyalty and prepare you for the opportunities of tomorrow, even as you overcome the challenges of today.